Screen Australia Propels 13 Documentaries with $4 Million Production Funding
Screen Australia announced the allotment of $4 million in production funding for 13 documentaries that will celebrate Australian culture, history and identity. Screen Australia strategically assigned seven projects to be funded through the Commissioned Program, five through the Producer Program and one through the First Nations Department.
©The Huntsman Telescope in its dome, located at Siding Spring Observatory, Coonabarabran
According to Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary, Alex West, these documentaries will offer timely reflections on Australian culture and identity, exploring the importance of activism, arts, health and the environment.
The only project funded through the First Nations Department is entitled Still We Rise, a documentary set in the year 1972 when activists established an Aboriginal Tent Embassy on the lawns opposite Parliament House. The film was written and directed by John Harvey and produced by Tamarind Tree Pictures.
Screen Australia’s Head of First Nations Angela Bates said the film Still We Rise will provide an Indigenous view of what transpired in relation to the construction of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Aligned with the event’s 50th anniversary, Bates believes that the film will help celebrate First Nations’ history and activism and will serve as an invaluable historical resource for future generations.
Projects Funded through the Commissioned Program
The Commissioned program supports the production of a diverse range of quality projects offering a compelling vision with a clear lasting cultural value. Under this program are the following seven documentaries:
- Australia’s Sleep Revolution with Dr Michael Mosley featuressees serial insomniac Dr Michael Mosley, along with a few poorest sleepers, undergoing the testing of sleep treatments.
- Out of the City (working title) is another masterpiece from the producers of Filthy Rich and Homeless that explores multiculturalism and life in regional areas. Out of the City is a three-part series funded with a support from VicSreen.
- Queerstralia focuses the spotlight on comedian Zoë Coombs Marr in a film that evolves around the untold and fascinating queer (LGBTQI+) history of Australia.
- Revealed: Reefshot features how people race against time to turn the tide to save the world’s largest living organism. This is a film that converged rangers, scientists and rangers in conserving the Great Barrier Reef.
- The Black Hand explores an Australian Italian community’s battle to overcome hard times and withstand, extreme politics and the mafia in their midst.
- The First Inventors reveals how the oldest living culture’ in the world used ancient ingenuity and knowledge systems to thrive in Australia.
- The Platypus Guardian features the discovery of a platyous community wherein Peter Walsh forges a bond with one special platypus.
Projects funded through the Producer Program
The Producer Program is intended to provide producers with the foundational funding to leverage projects creatively and commercially. Documentaries under the Producers Program are:
- Australia’s Open charts the successes and downfalls of the celebrated individual tennis tournament, the Australian Open, analysing the events that shaped it both on and off the court.
- The Endangered Generation is narrated by actress Laura Dern showing how the world is fundamentally driven by selfishness and competition while exploring how kindness and cooperation become crucial in prospering in the natural world.
- Las Balsas: An Ocean Odyssey is a documentary about the 1973 Las Balsas Expedition, the world’s longest recorded raft journey.
- Left Write Hook features a ground-breaking recovery program for survivors of childhood sexual abuse through boxing and creative writing.
- Speedway is a true-crime documentary about the unsolved ‘Burger Chef Murders’ involving the death of four teenagers in Speedway, Indiana in 1978.
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